We’re only three weeks away now from the release of my next novel, Life’s Unexpected Gifts. I was thrilled when I was accepted into the Corbin’s Bend series and am so excited for Corbin’s Bend fans to read Troy and Hallie’s story on December 17th.
I’m sharing an excerpt from their first kiss. Let me know what you think!
“I’m staying. Just leave.” She whines with attitude.
“Nope. Your uncle put me in charge. You’ve had enough to drink. Time to head home.”
“Or what?” She has a fire in her eyes.
She is throwing down an intentional dare. A group of teenagers gathered nearby are watching the interaction with interest.
“I’m not playing this game.” He reaches to secure her upper arm in his tight grip. He turns to head towards the exit, but she digs in her fashion heels and tries to hold him back. His anger is simmering. He hadn’t missed that she’s curvier than he had remembered and he suspects Aunt Gina has been feeding her well, but it doesn’t change the fact she’s petite enough that he can hustle her along easily.
They’re at the coat check room before Troy releases her arm in order to dig out the claim check. They move aside to make room for the people lining up. Before the young attendant can return with their coats, Hallie is heading back towards the party.
His patience is at an end. He doesn’t know her story yet, but one thing is for sure, Hallie Boudreaux is in sore need of some discipline. Unfortunately, that job will fall to her uncle as her relative. All Troy can offer at this juncture is a stern lecture. A wave of resentment festers within him directed at Hallie. He was already feeling like an old man around her, but he hates that she’s turning him into her father.
He shuffles them to a nearby doorway, out of the path of the other partygoers, trapping her against the closed door. He presses in close, allowing his towering body to try to intimidate Hallie into compliance.
“Now, I’ve had enough. I have no idea what happened in your past that makes you think acting like a brat is acceptable, but here’s your wake up call. You are on dangerous ground with me, Hallie. We’re leaving.”
They are in a silent showdown of wills, staring into each other’s eyes as the group of teenagers she had been socializing with walk by, taunting them. “Hey, look at the lovebirds! They’re standing under the mistletoe. You guys better kiss or you’ll have bad luck.”
Troy’s gut lurches. Hallie’s eyes widen. As if they choreographed this moment, they each slowly look up to confirm the validity of the teenager’s taunt.
When their eyes meet next, he expects to see fear or anger. Those would be preferable to the confused longing reflected in her green eyes. It’s only there briefly, but he’d seen it. It’s a stupid tradition. It means nothing. He should walk away. He will walk away.
And then she licks her lips… slowly… sensuously. It’s an invitation and one he is helpless to resist. His brain shuts down, turning the moment over to the rest of his body. Their eyes are locked and he watches for even a hint of fear… a hint that she doesn’t want this. What he sees instead is eagerness as her kissable lips part as excitement jumps in her eyes.
Suspecting he will never have this opportunity again, Troy closes the distance between them, lowering his lips to hers. The kiss is gentle… chaste even, right up until he feels Hallie’s arms circling his waist, tucked under his suit jacket, his dress shirt the only fabric preventing skin on skin connection. When she hugs him to her, Troy’s control slips and the kiss turns to pure passion. He can taste the liquor on her tongue as she uses it to invade his own open mouth. The effects of her intimate proximity has him pressing his body into her own, trapping her against the unforgiving closed door. The added friction of their pressed bodies has his cock growing thick with desire to plunder her sexy body.
The kiss is too short. The hoots and catcalls of the surrounding teenagers remind Troy they have an impressionable audience. With great effort, he pulls out of her warm embrace, taking a few seconds to burn the memory of her flushed face into his memory to call up later when he has time to think things through more clearly.
He briefly contemplates apologizing, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to apologize for something that felt so perfect. It would have been a lie anyway. He’s not sorry at all. Cupping her face gently in the palm of his hand, he tries to regain control over the moment. “Hallie, honey. Open your eyes for me.”
She takes a few long seconds before she complies. He’s relieved to see the heat he’d felt in her still smoldering in her bubbling green eyes. “That’s my girl. It’s late. Let me get you home. I don’t want to piss your uncle off on Christmas Eve.”
At the mention of her uncle, the fire in her eyes begins to douse, returning her to reality.
“You’re right. We should go.”
His body is still pressing into her. He sees a flicker of recognition as she acknowledges his hardness pressing into her with a slight shudder. He finally steps back, willing his dick to retreat before other party patrons notice. Troy grasps Hallie’s hand in his own and leads her the short distance back to where Traci stands holding their coats, a smug smile on her face. He purposefully avoids meeting his sister’s eyes as he grabs Hallie’s coat first, holding it out to assist her in getting it on before grabbing his own coat.
Troy needs a few minutes in the cold Colorado air to put out the flames Hallie Boudreaux had lit. “You ladies stay here. I’ll get the car and bring it around so you don’t have to walk through the snow in those ridiculous things you two call shoes. I’ll be right back.”
And with that, Troy stalks out into the winter’s night, determined to stay out there as long as it takes to get back into control before he has to see Hallie again.
Life’s Unexpected Gifts will be available on December 17th, 2014.